Blowback: Does Ron Paul Need a Different Explanation of It?

By:  Thomas R. Eddlem
11/29/2011
       
Blowback: Does Ron Paul Need a Different Explanation of It?

Texas Representative Ron Paul's non-interventionist foreign policy has endeared him to many of those who love the advice of America's Founders. His message to "bring the troops home" from not just Iraq and Afghanistan, but also from Korea, Germany, and Japan, echoes George Washington's words in his farewell address where the first President advised, "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world."

But the one part of Ron Paul's foreign policy that has been difficult to translate to much of the Republican base has been the idea of "blowback." Blowback is the concept that when some apparently innocent actions are undertaken by the U.S. government abroad, they produce a violent reaction. Rep. Paul's opponents in the 2008 presidential election used his explanation of blowback to imply that he believed that the United States was responsible for the September 11 attacks, just as his opponents imply today that he's "soft" on Iran because of a lack of willingness to engage in aggressive military attacks against Iran.

Ron Paul's explanation of blowback first attained national attention in a May 15, 2007 presidential debate in South Carolina. Asked by Fox News moderator Wendell Goler why he opposed foreign interventionism, the following exchange between Paul, Goler, and Rudy Giuliani ensued:

Texas Representative Ron Paul's non-interventionist foreign policy has endeared him to many of those who love the advice of America's Founders. His message to "bring the troops home" from not just Iraq and Afghanistan, but also from Korea, Germany, and Japan, echoes George Washington's words in his farewell address where the first President advised, "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world."

But the one part of Ron Paul's foreign policy that has been difficult to translate to much of the Republican base has been the idea of "blowback." Blowback is the concept that when some apparently innocent actions are undertaken by the U.S. government abroad, they produce a violent reaction. Rep. Paul's opponents in the 2008 presidential election used his explanation of blowback to imply that he believed that the United States was responsible for the September 11 attacks, just as his opponents imply today that he's "soft" on Iran because of a lack of willingness to engage in aggressive military attacks against Iran.

Ron Paul's explanation of blowback first attained national attention in a May 15, 2007 presidential debate in South Carolina. Asked by Fox News moderator Wendell Goler why he opposed foreign interventionism, the following exchange between Paul, Goler, and Rudy Giuliani ensued:

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Photo: AP Images

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